sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Book of the Week: The Last Viking, by Stephen Brown
Book of the Week: The Last Viking, by Stephen Brown

'1906, Nome, Alaska, USA - Polar explorer Roald Amundsen and his crew in Nome, Alaska, aboard the Nowegian sailing boat that was the first to navigate through the Northwest Passage in 1903-06. --- Image by © CORBIS'    .

Now that the Northwest Passage is drawing so much attention as a new waterway between the Atlantic and the Pacific, the first sailor every to transit the once-dreaded Passage is again front of mind for the world's sailors. Before Norwegian Roald Amundsen came around, no human had ever set sight on the South or North Poles. Amundsen was born in 1872 and decided as a young man he wanted to be a hero.

The Last Viking: Roald Amundsen -  .. .  
In the course of his life as a death-defying adventurer, he sailed through the Northwest Passage, rode a dog sled to the South Pole and flew over the North Pole, all to the delight of an enraptured global audience.


He died at 55 on a foolhardy impromptu flight to rescue a stranded foe in the Arctic, not long after he told a journalist that he had achieved all his dreams: 'There is nothing left for me to do.'

Brown draws on extensive research and access to the personal journals of Amundsen and his travel companions to paint rich and gripping accounts of his perilous voyages.

These are often marvellously entertaining. At times the biography can seem overly reverent, but it becomes clear that Brown simply intends a robust defence of his subject’s fading and embattled legacy.

Amundsen defied the odds through obsessive preparation and innovation. He adopted Inuit clothing and igloo techniques, designed his own snow goggles, and even contemplated using polar bears to pull his sled (a plan wisely abandoned a few years before he was mauled by one of the toothy white giants). That he survived as long as he did was a miracle, but he made much of his own luck.

Amundsen cared nothing for money—it was simply a means for adventure—but he needed a lot of it. He spent his inheritance on his first boat, and even then he literally fled his creditors as he set sail. His multi-year-long expeditions were expensive, so he learned to leverage his celebrity into a fortune. He sold news as a commodity and sponsored the products of his patrons. He went on lucrative lecture tours, which he viewed as a tiresome necessity despite the public adulation. A spendthrift on dreams, he was a tireless fundraiser. He died bankrupt, missions accomplished.

If the book is not available at your local marine bookstore, it is available on Amazon, or click here for the Canadian-originated review organisation, Macleans.

Click the name to read more of Andrew Stobo Sniderman's reviews


by Andrew Stobo Sniderman

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=103261

9:39 PM Sat 27 Oct 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


Related News Stories:

29 Sep 2012  Book Review: The Voyage of the Cormorant
15 Sep 2012  Classic Asymmetric Sail Mistakes - And How to Avoid Them
09 Sep 2012  Book Review: 'Outfitting the Offshore Cruising Sailboat'
09 Sep 2012  Book Review: 'Outfitting the Offshore Cruising Sailboat'
12 Aug 2012  Book of the Week: 'Rescue in the Pacific' by Tony Farrington
07 Aug 2012  Book Review: Sailing: Catching the Drift of Why we Sail
18 Jul 2012  Rob's Passage Planner for the Australian east coast - a little beauty
29 Jun 2012  Book of the Week: 'Expert Sailing Skills'
01 Jun 2012  Book of the Week: Doina Cornell's 'Child of the Sea'
01 Jun 2012  Book of the Week: Doina Cornell's 'Child of the Sea'
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World















Volvo Ocean Race: Team Vestas Wind gears up in Alicante by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,


























Soling North American Championship concludes on Lake Erie by Canadian International Soling Association,


























ISAF Sailing Worlds - Four champions crowned as racing wraps up
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - USA finishes Top-10 in 4 classes
Outteridge and Jensen – What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Giles Scott wins Gold
Santander Worlds - 49ers Burling and Tuke clear ahead
ISAF Sailing Worlds – Live broadcast - Medal races
Starboard Hatteras Wave Jam day 5
WMRT Chicago Match Cup 2014 – GAC Pindar through to the semi-finals
Bart’s Bash 2014 at Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club in Victoria Harbour
Bart's Bash: First event in at Wakatere in New Zealand
ISAF Sailing Worlds Santander 2014 - AUS Laser and 470 Medals + video
2014 Patriot Regatta - U.S. Coast Guard team wins
2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships - Santander - Day 9 highlights
2014 Etchells North American Championship – Day 2
Chicago Match Cup - Top four tour teams tackle tomorrow in semi-finals
470 Men and Women Worlds - Champions decided in Santander
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander: 49er and Nacra 17 world titles claimed
ISAF Sailing Worlds - Caleb Paine through to Finn medal race + video
ISAF Worlds - 49er, 49erFX, Finn and Nacra 17 Rio 2016 spots taken
ISAF Sailing Worlds - 470 Women's medal race images by Thom Touw
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander: Scott all set to lift Finn world title   
ISAF Sailing Worlds - 470 Men's medal race images by Thom Touw   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Aussies and Austrians claim 470 gold   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander: 470 awards images by Sail-World.com   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - 470 medal race images by Jesus Renedo   
Annapolis-to-Newport Race - 'What to Expect' Seminar to take place   
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - No racing on penultimate day   
Belcher takes record fifth 470 World Championship   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Santander - Day 8 video highlights   
2014 Great Lakes Team Racing Championship about to set off   
2014 Etchells North American Championship - Day 1   
2014 U.S. Multihull Championship - Day 1   
2014 Chicago Match Cup - Repechage top four determined in final flight   
J/24 World Championship - 35th anniversary preview   
470 Men and Women Worlds - Santander medal race line-up confirmed   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Day 8 images by Sail-World.com   
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - Quantum Racing stumbles in coastal race   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Americans ready for 470 medal races   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander: Action ramps up with end zone in sight   
Big Boat Series - It's not the size, it's the length   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT